The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Saving 1890 Fairbury Fair newspaper poster

The Fairbury Fair started in 1876. In 1976, the Blade newspaper ran a special 100th anniversary edition for the fair.  In that issue, they recreated an old 1890 and 1900 fair poster(s).

My copy of the newspaper had been stored for 43 years in a folded, or creased state in California.  It was hand carried on a plane from California to Illinois, and delivered to me in July of 2019.  The size of the original 1890 poster in the Blade newspaper was 9.25x12.50 inches.

I scanned the 2 old posters, but the 2 creases detracted from the poster images. I was wondering how to remove the 43 year old creases???

Then I remembered a trick I learned in the 1980s. Back then, I was just getting into woodworking as a hobby, and I was making wood picture frames.  I don't remember how I learned this.........but first you glue a brown paper cover to the back of the frame with Elmer's Glue.  It will be wrinkled and not taut.  If you gently rub the brown paper with a wet rag, then let it will make the brown paper as tight as a drum.........and it will stay that Magic !!!!!!!!

I wondered if the same technique would work to take the wrinkles out of my old newspaper images?

I made a wood frame from scrap 1x4's, and then Elmer glued the old newspaper image to the wood frame.  

I used Kreg pocket screws to make the frame.

Stretching Process

  1. gently rub web rag on back of image.  Do not rub on front face, you might cause colors to distort or run.
  2. for 3/4 or 1" edge borders, use artist's brush to moisten these areas
  3. dry with electric hair dryer
  4. repeat wetting and drying process until all creases are drawn taught.

Location of creases

Before and After digital camera images

1890 poster after stretching and digital touch-up

After the stretching operation, I took a digital camera photo of the stretched image.   I then used Microsoft Paint, to further touch-up the old image.  Usually I copied a "good" area and then pasted it in a bad area.  I used a little spray touchup as well.

Closing Thoughts

I will use the same technique to repair the 1900 Fairbury Fair poster.

Several people have asked me for the digital file, so they can make their own reprints.

I plan on having a print shop make new copies of these 2 old  Fairbury Fair posters.............then I will make wood frames for them.  One copy I will donate to our Fairbury Echoes Museum and the other copy I will donate to an upcoming charity auction.

It is amazing to me that my early 1980's technique from picture framing let me save these old posters !